Coast Guard, VMRC rescue jet skiers near Chincoteague, Virginia

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Resource Commission rescued a woman and a boy in the early hours of Sunday morning in Horntown Bay near Chincoteague, Virginia.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia’s Command Center received a report that a 57 year-old woman and a 3 year-old boy went missing at 1:50 am on Sunday, June 28th.

A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew was launched along with a Coast Guard Station Cape Charles boat crew to search for the missing persons.


Sector Virginia’s Command Center also coordinated the rescue with two marine units from VMRC who launched in the local area and vectored the Jayhawk aircrew to the jet ski’s last known position. The crew from the helicopter located the jet ski with the woman and child still onboard and directed a VMRC boat to the scene where the people were transferred back to shore and evaluated by local EMS.

Though the rescue was successful, boaters are reminded that the best way to get help if danger arises on the water is to have an effective form of communication. Marine radios that can broadcast and receive transmissions over VHF-FM CH-16 are the best way to let the Coast Guard and other mariners know you’re in trouble.

Other than ensuring reliable communications, boaters should always wear Coast Guard approved life jackets, be familiar with the area they’re boating in, take a boating safety course, file a float plan so someone on shore knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back, and never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or impairing medication.

“With the upcoming 4th of July weekend, people should check over their gear and plan for the weather,” said Petty Officer First Class James Morrison, a watchstander at Sector Virginia’s Command Center. “People should have fun and enjoy the water, but being safe should be everyone’s number one priority.”

For more safety recommendations and education, boaters are encouraged to visit https://www.uscgboating.org and seek out their local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, and local agencies also provide boating safety courses which can prove invaluable to protecting you and your family before heading out on the water.

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